Two Ghanaian innovations created amid Covid-19 have made the top 100 Forbes Africa Invention, Innovation and Icons list for year 2020.
The two innovations are HACK CoronaV, invented by Joshua Opoku Agyeman and Sequencing Covid-19 created by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.
The three-in-one anti-Covid-19 invention, HACK CoronaV was number 11 on he list of 30 inventions within the period under review, while Noguchi’s Sequencing Covid-19 was number 19 on another list of 30 innovations in 2020.
Indeed, in the course of the year, there were several Covid-19-related innovations acknowledged by the United Nations, but only the two mentioned above actually made the Forbes Africa 100 list.
There was another list of 40 African icons for the year, but no Ghanaian made that list.
This year’s Forbes Africa 100 innovations, inventions and icons list focused mainly on what young Africans and African institutions did to combat the impact of Covid-19.
The winners were selected through extensive desktop research and phone and Zoom interviews, to determine those worthy for each component of this monumental list
The following is what Forbes said about Ghana’s Hack CoronaV and Noguchi’s Sequencing Covid-19.
When the West African-based Internet of Things (IoT) CEO Joshua Opoku Agyemang saw how the Covid-19 pandemic was affecting his Ghanaian community, he felt the need to help, and this is exactly what he did. Under the umbrella term ‘HACK CoronaV’, he invented three different items that could be used to prevent the virus from spreading.
“Our inspiration came from the community first and the need to protect the people around us,” says Agyemang to FORBES AFRICA.
Each item served a different purpose, the first was a touchless washing bucket that worked through a foot mechanism.
“What we noticed about public washing buckets that came with taps attached is that you had to use your hands to open the tap and when you finished, you would have to close it yourself. So this could also be a medium for the virus to spread, and this inspired the creation of the touchless washing bucket,” explains Agyemang.
The second was a reusable face mask created using 3D-printing and from materials that were locally sourced. The final invention under ‘HACK CoronaV’ is an artificial intelligence home system that allows you to control appliances from your phone.
“The system we came up with helps you control your lighting system and switches, especially in public spaces to avoid these devices more than is needed, so we have created an app,” says Agyemang.
These are just a few of the inventions he has begun to roll out and with more ideas in the pipeline, it will be interesting to see what Agyemang and his team come up with next
As Covid-19 threatened the lives of many across the globe, scientists at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR – College of Health Sciences) in Ghana were able to successfully sequence the genomes of the coronavirus.
This allowed them to obtain important information about the genetic composition of viral strains in 15 of the confirmed cases in Ghana. This has had a worldwide impact on the current understanding of the Covid-19 virus.
“And this genome sequencing provides us with another opportunity to leverage research and we are beginning to look at how we can extend that information and capability into the identification of new drugs especially from herbal origins, traditional medicine origins, into the identification of what is the epidemiology, the spread and distribution and severity of the disease. How is it in the country? We are beginning to look at how we can leverage this data,” Director of the institute Abraham Anang told Africa News.